Entries Tagged 'Elections' ↓

Protect our Elections Thune

Sioux Falls, SD

Press Release Contact: Joan McMillin
Phone: 605-331-0037
Email: commongroundssd@gmail.com

Secure Our Election Rally

When: Tuesday, September 17, 10:00 a.m.

Where: Office of Senator John Thune, 5015 S, Bur Oak Place, Sioux Falls

Why: Our elections are under attack. We have been warned by Robert Mueller, by FBI Director Christopher Wray, by the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, and by all our intelligence agencies that our elections in 2020 will be under even greater attack by Russia and other nations.

Yet legislation which would dedicate $600 million to update vulnerable election systems and ensure all votes are backed up by paper ballots sits languishing on the desk of Senate Leader Mitch McConnell..

We are rallying to urge Senator Thune to use his influence as the second ranking Republican in the Senate to bring this legislation to a vote. It has bipartisan support.

What is more important to our democracy than that our elections are secure?

Is there a fix?

Citizens have had many successful petitions in Sioux Falls. Is it time for another one?

The Sioux Falls Home Rule charter is 25 years old this year and is showing growing pains. Sioux Falls has grown from a small pothole town to a medium sized pothole town with the size of each of the potholes increasing with it. The idea we can’t plan for a sustainable future is confirmed with every meeting our mayor and city council show up to. Our get rich quick on the backs of the citizens, shows we must have a City Council actually doing what the Home Rule Charter calls for it to do – SETTING POLICY.

Setting policy means the City Council is required to develop a long range plan with instructions for the Mayor to implement. These instructions are called Ordinances. The Mayor in most home rule charter cities must do what the City Council instructs but in our town the mayor tells the City Council what to do. Our processes are broken and broken bad. We hear it at every Tuesday City Council meeting. We heard it recently when a citizen showed up to say the mayor’s position must be redefined to stop the meddling.

We citizens have a BIG responsibility. We need to tell this City Council and all future City Councils what their responsibilities are.  We need to tell this mayor and all future mayors what their responsibilities are. How do we do this?

Right now there are monthly meetings being held to make it look like decisions to improve the home rule charter. As we have watched over the last few election cycles, nothing is going to happen except screw us more. The Charter Revision Commission will hear testimony about how wonderful everything is in each part of the Charter and then move on to the next area. If a citizen shows up to talk about a problem with a part of the Charter, the Chair will sometimes say thank you to the person and then completely ignore the recommendation. Our city election of 2018 is a prime example of total dysfunction, with all our problems every idea was thrown away.

Our Charter was designed to be a Strong Council – Strong Mayor form of government and it has the marks of failure because the mayors we have had subvert the will of the people and their representatives by sitting on the council. Just look at the disastrous $70 million dollar parking ramp deal passed by an out of control mayor and his dysfunctional friends on the City Council to see we have lost our way.

There is talk around town of doing something about the problems our dysfunctional Charter has. What ideas do you have? Some have called for eliminating the Charter altogether, changing to City Manager form, making the mayor a ceremonial position with no veto or Council vote, going back to the Commission form or a mix of the above. What do you think?

Personally, I think it is time citizens took matters into their own hands.

First Candidate of the 2022 Sioux Falls mayoral race

It shouldn’t surprise any of us that David Zokaites filled out his paperwork yesterday for his run for mayor in 2022. As we all know, last time around David wasn’t put on the ballot because he didn’t turn in enough signatures. That’s what you get when you have a bunch of ZOMBIES collecting your sigs 🙂 or was it temp labor? Wait . . .

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Indy Voters in the Democratic Primaries (Bruce Danielson)

There was a group discussion on Friday with some claiming the change in Democratic Party rules allowing NPA and IND voters was a good idea. I decided to pull up the 2017 statewide voter file and see for myself if my gut feelings were right.

I have never considered the experiment to allow independent voters a well thought out plan and the statewide numbers are proving it out.

This data is from the statewide late 2017 TotalVote file I am able to work with.

In 2012 IND and NPA voters were allowed to start voting in Democratic Primaries. The idea of allowing IND and NPA voters to have a voice in Dem Primary’s primary has been a failure. It has encouraged Dems to change their registration and still vote in primary. It is a loser’s mentality. A reason Mike Huether changed to IND?

The real proof of this being a bad decision is borne out in the 2016 election. As contentious as the primary was, it did not bring any additional voters to the process. I remember many voters being confused. A few asked me in 2016 if voting in the Facebook polls counted in the primary between Clinton and Sanders.

We can talk about this in more detail but the numbers show a time and election experiment failure. Instead of tearing the party structure apart, isn’t it time to actually build something?

Next Generation Leadership PAC

I guess one of the reasons the PAC cannot be found is because somehow the filings for the PAC have disappeared off the city’s website. I was able to get a screenshot of the last page of the PAC’s July 3rd filing thru a city contact. Curious that city employees have access to this document but citizens don’t. But I don’t have time to go into that rant and how our new innovation department is finding ways to hide information from citizens unless you have a traceable login.

You will see below in PTH’s July 3rd filing he received an almost $25K donation from the PAC. The same day, the PAC filed itself. It seems they are on a mission to recruit more candidates like Paul. God help us all!

(The rumor in political circles, and the reason Dusty Johnson had a freakout on a fellow Republican in RC recently is because they believe Rounds will not run again for senate, leaving Johnson to run for that seat and TenHaken to run for Dusty’s current seat, but like I said,  just gossip at this point.)

I also find it interesting that Joel Dykstra was not only the treasurer of PTH’s campaign but also the PAC’s. Well isn’t that convenient? You may know Joel who got his rear end kicked by Tim Johnson. But Joel is also a well known developer around town that likes any developer welfare and zoning breaks he can get from Sioux Falls taxpayers. I guess this is what they mean by ‘Next Generation’. Republican elected officials taking money from the working poor and turning into big profits for his ilk.

Joel also gave money to Alex Jensen. This must be their first ‘recruit’ in the PTH Next Gen movement. I expect more recruits from this PAC that has seemed to slide under the radar up until this point. I guess it helps when public officials conveniently hide your filings (if someone can provide a link, I will gladly retract that statement).

At least we have cleared the air on who they are so far, it will be interesting to watch them dump bundles of money into ineffective campaigns and lose. (PTH’s full report: 20180703-TenHaken-CFDRT (1)

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Sioux Falls School Board Elect Baker has serious conflicts

Of course I pointed this out when she was co-chair of the New School Bond Task Force and people told me she had nothing to do with it. Well if you read her conflict form, it tells a different story (DOC: Baker-Conflict)

Bob Baker (Husband), First National Bank of SF, Employee, Shareholder, Director & officer

SFSD deposits and new school bonds.

As I mentioned during the task force meetings the bonds would have to go through First National and I wonder what kind of commission was gleamed on a $190 million dollar bond. But hey, no conflicts there. I also wondered what kind of contracts the school has with SDN, the employer of the Task Force Chair, Mr. Tea Time Vernon Brown.

Baker also lists she is a ‘Community Director’. I did a little digging around, and apparently she heads up a youth group called ‘Youth Roots’ since April 1st. Whatever that is.

I still think the results are a little skewed. While I had no doubt that Nan and Carly would win, I had Nan in 1st place with a sliding vote count going to Carly, Lora and Sarah. It’s a little odd that Nan and Carly got the EXACT same percentage and Sarah and Lora got almost identical to. I also find it a little odd that there was over 700 undervotes but in the bond election there was ONLY 2 (I think, can’t find supporting docs anymore), in 2018 school board election there was 0, in 2017 there was 25 and in 2016 there was 0, in 2015 there was 0.

If you think the SFSD is running their elections above board, I beg to differ.

UPDATE II: Sioux Falls School District vote count complicated

UPDATE II: The AL has a great story this morning about ‘top heavy’ administrative pay (the story should have been done before the election, but better late then never). You can take it the way you want to, but I love the goobly-guck the SFSD uses to justify the enormous pay gap between administrators and teachers. They say SF should pay administrators more because we are a bigger city. LOL. You also have MORE administrators. Over $9 million of this year’s budget goes toward administrative pay which hovers at around $100K average per administrator.

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CORRECTION: I had originally posted that the votes were counted twice, that is not the case. I jumped to conclusions. A commenter pointed out that you have a possibility of TWO votes per ballot. I feel like a dumbass. But I still stand by what I wrote below. The undervotes are NOT being shown correctly. I also wonder what the odds are of the top two vote getters TYING?

Just look for yourself, according to the SFSD results page, 4,239 votes were counted and 4,247 were cast.

UPDATE: OKAY, this isn’t as bad as it looks, but it’s still questionable, once you figure out that each ballot ‘can’ contain TWO votes. But it also can contain just one or none.

But if you add up the vote count of the four candidates and undervotes you come to a grand total of; 8,478 votes. If if you divide it by 2 you get 4,239 ballots (actual number of ballots counted).

By these numbers they are saying that everyone voted for two candidates. While you certainly could vote for two, some people only vote for one. Where it gets even more complicated, if they seem to have counted the undervotes TWICE. In other words, they consider one blank ballot as TWO undervotes.

I’m even more confused now.


Major FAIL on Political Mailer

As a person who has worked on political mailers for over a decade, certain things have to be right. The most important things are dates, typos and ‘PAID FOR’ designation.

I don’t even know where to start with Baker’s postcard. First off, I received this card TODAY, the day of the election. Not good. It appears she probably mailed this on Friday or Saturday, but with Presort STD, there are NO guarantees when something will show up in your mailbox. The PO guarantees 10-11 days for Presort STD. In SF, it’s between 2-3 days. She should have mailed this NO later than Wednesday or Thursday or went with 1st Class.

But here is the worst part, She only has 10 precincts listed and only 4 of them are correct, the other six in yellow don’t exist. Bad, very bad. How is it that someone running for the School Board doesn’t have enough sense to check the SFSD’s website for polling places?

I am actively recruiting candidates for the City of Sioux Falls council election in 2020

Unlike the group of rat finks looking for competitors to Stehly in 2020, I will be honest with you; I am actively looking for challengers to NW District Councilor Neitzert and SW District Councilor Selberg and if Stehly decides NOT to seek a 2nd term, we will be looking for a candidate in that race also.

No worries, you have some time. The earliest you really need to announce is this Fall, even though there are some people already talking about running against Stehly.

I have spoken with several people interested in challenging the two. With the parking ramp debacle, the chatter has increased quite a bit, and with all the failures over the past three years due to their rubber stamp mentality, many citizens are ready to turn a majority of the council into a citizen advocacy body and a real challenge to city administrators and big bizzo in town.

As you know, Bruce and I have ran many successful local campaigns (ironically one of our best was Neitzert’s 🙁 and we have had a couple of failures, but I think the 2020 election cycle will be a big one for us. As you know, Bruce and I try to champion candidates that are for two things, ‘Good, Clean Government’. We also don’t care about your partisan stripes, we have helped indies, Republicans and Democrats.

We are willing to sit down with anyone interested to discuss a campaign. While the consultation will be totally free and confidential, I can not guarantee we would take you on, but we are willing to listen and advise.

How will the Sioux Falls School District pay for staffing of the new schools?

And I’m not just talking about teachers. You also have support staff, administrators, janitors, resource officers, etc. There is also utilities and maintenance.

This question came up during the campaign for the bond election. The administration blew it off and pretty much said they will figure it out later and the state gives money for each student. This of course doesn’t solve the problem.

So where will the money come from? My guess is that the SFSD will ask for ANOTHER opt out to fund the operations and staff. They really have NO CHOICE. We saw it with the shortfall this year.

So why wasn’t this clarified during the bond election campaign? I think I answered that question. They didn’t want to scare the taxpayers anymore. What most people don’t realize is that the $300 million dollar debt is only for brick and mortar. Not only is it ONLY for that, it is ONLY for the finished product. Moving forward we are responsible to maintain it out of NEW funds.

The SFSD is fleecing it’s residents. As brought up in the current school board debate our levees may be lower than surrounding communities, but our property values are extremely inflated, especially in Lincoln County.

It will be interesting to see how these new schools will be funded, because it won’t be from hopes and prayers.